2024 NCAA Selection Show

Both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament Selection Shows saw double-digit viewership increases in 2024, with the women’s show drawing its best-ever viewership.

Per Sports Media Watch, the men’s show averaged 5.91 million viewers this year. Airing on CBS, this year’s Selection Show was the most-watched edition of the men’s show since 2019 and was also the second-most-watched of the last ten years.

Viewership for the Selection Show began to crater in 2016 when the decision was made to expand the show to two hours. That two-hour edition in 2016, which was also dampened by a bracket leak, hit a two-decade viewership low and was derided by fans for wasting time instead of just showing us the damn bracket. The show was cut to 90 minutes in 2017, but viewership slipped yet again, falling below five million viewers for the first time ever. The Selection Show was re-expanded to two hours in 2018, shifted to TBS, and changed the format *again*, leading to viewership sinking to yet another new low.

After going back to basics in 2019, viewership spiked (imagine that!), and complaints have somewhat ceased since then.

The women’s Selection Show on ESPN also was up double digits. This year’s event averaged 1.94 million viewers, a 52% increase from last year and the most-watched edition of the women’s Selection Show ever.

This continues a strong trend for women’s college basketball over the last year. Fox’s women’s game coverage outdrew its men’s coverage and had its best season ever, while ESPN had its best season in 15 years. These are all positive signs for the women’s game heading into this year’s tournament, which begins with the First Four Wednesday on ESPNU.

[Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.